Peter and Betsy de Manio rowing out of their backyard on Siesta Key introduced local adults to the sport of sculling and created the Sarasota Scullers. They conducted some seminars under the tutelage of Bill Bachman from Tampa and Ric Ricci from Connecticut College. While attending the Miami International Regatta in 1991, Mary Ann Garcia, a friend of Peter and Betsy was impressed by what she saw and asked Peter if there might not be some interest in the local high schools to start a rowing club. She pledged $4,000 to assist in the purchase of the first boat. Glenn Darling, the only youth rowing with the Sarasota Scullers adult club, learned quickly and arranged for a meeting at Riverview High to attract other youth rowers.
The meeting in May at the Science Auditorium attracted over 100 students. Some of the students started rowing immediately and on July 13, 1991, a small group of students traveled to Tampa to compete in their first regatta, the Sunshine Games, as the Sarasota Scullers because we did not yet have a Riverview High Sponsor. Josh Lang in the Novice single and Glenn Darling in the Youth single each won a gold medal. Peter added to the medal parade with a gold in the Masters single and a tradition of commitment and excellence was begun. As the group grew that summer, the new rowers practiced twice a day, 6:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m., six days a week, working hard to catch up and perfect the skills necessary to compete successfully for the upcoming season.
They began to race as Riverview High School. Peter created the Sarasota Scullers Youth Rowing Program as an umbrella organization in order to raise the funds to purchase the equipment as well as to permit rowing to expand into the other area schools. Eventually Sarasota County had teams from Cardinal Mooney, Pine View, Riverview, Sarasota and Venice competing in the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Championships with excellent results.